Wednesday, January 16, 2013

HyperBaric Oxygen Therapy

So we have now crossed over to where more than half of each day is spent at someone's doctor visit!  I'm joking a little but not too much.  Dr McDonald talked to Dr Hammack over the weekend and got agreement that it would be good for me to start hyperbaric oxygen treatment (HBO).  So this morning we had an appointment to discuss this with the HBO doctor at OSF.  And I actually got the first treatment in today.  Here's the schedule: 5 days/week for 6 weeks.  8:30 am appts and the treatment takes about 2 hours.  With a 40 min drive each way, this will take most of the morning every day.  The good news is that we don't have to move anywhere to do it.  It's the same basic treatment that they do for wounds.  The goal is simply to supply more oxygen to the brain to help reduce swelling and radiation damage.

I'm doing physical therapy twice a week, once in the pool, once on land.  I've still got the avastin treatments every 2 weeks, and I just started the second round of temodar last night.  This time I knew to take my nausea medicine before hand and they had me take it just before bedtime.  That's supposedly better for sleeping through any ill-effects of the medicine.

Monday I had the swallow study.  Basically the right side of my throat is not working and food just sticks at the top.  The left side is working ok.  So if I turn my head to the right and down, then food will go down the left side.  As far as liquids, they are working if I only take one swallow at a time, no continuous gulping.  Now that I understand all this it is going ok.  It still takes me a long time to eat and I am still eating something soft with everything.

I got a handicapped parking card yesterday.  That will help the trips where I would have a long walk through an icy parking lot.  Once I'm pushing a shopping cart, I do fine.  Hopefully the HBO helps this improve and I won't need to renew it in 6 months.

Now you know the latest.  Seems like the schedule is intense with medical visits these days but we finally have something that makes sense as far as symptoms and we have some hope that this HBO will help alleviate them.  Just pray that this therapy will work as intended and my swallowing and walking will improve.

Thanks to all who have helped with babysitting and made soft meals for me.  It's really appreciated.  We've really felt everyone's prayers and support as things have gotten more challenging for me.

Derek & Leann


  1. We continue to lift you up in prayer!!

  2. Definitely praying the HBO and therapy will help, Derek!

  3. I own and operate a HBOT center since 1998 see and I can tell you YES Please go to HBOT

  4. Can see where this schedule could be hectic with home schooling or can you go by yourself? But so good its close to home and a plan of attack is always more calming than questions. Thankful for your updates and attitude. Love and prayers, the Steffens

  5. You all continue to be in my prayers!!

  6. Derek & Family,

    We continue to lift you up to God in prayer!!

    Michael, Rachel Micah, Abigail & Paul Messner